The power of coming together was never more clear than when country stars and fans alike joined forces for the Country Rising benefit concert in Nashville on Sunday, Nov. 12. Raising more than $4 million for the victims of the September 2017 hurricanes and the Las Vegas shooting, the concert, held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, featured performances from Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Keith Urban and surprise guest Jon Pardi.
Aldean, who was onstage at the time of the Las Vegas shooting, was profoundly affected by the events that took place that night, but has continued to push forward in the face of fear.
“It’s been a rough couple months for us up here, and it’s a lot of fun to get back out and play for the people who matter which is you guys,” said Aldean on stage. “I love getting up every day and playing music, and I’ll be damned if anybody out there will ever stop me from doing that.”
The show kicked off with Lady Antebellum, who paid tribute to the late Tom Petty. The GRAMMY-winning trio was followed by host Bobby Bones, who encouraged the audience to continue to make a difference in their surrounding communities.
“Our country has been hit hard by tragedy this year,” Bones said. “It’s affected our families. It’s affected our friends. It’s affected the country music community, but even during those hard times what we always try to do is find the good and make the difference, and tonight we’re trying to make the difference.”
The show was one of togetherness and rallying, as artists like Dierks Bentley performed “Riser” and Chris Stapleton sang “Broken Halos.” In addition to performing, Stapleton revealed that he and his wife Morgane were donating $250,000 to the cause.
George Strait closed the star-studded event with his biggest hits, including “Amarillo By Morning.”
While the concert may be over, fans can still help by texting ‘NASHVILLE’ to 41010, donate at countryrising.org or by purchasing merchandise. All of the proceeds will go towards the Country Rising Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The foundation will help with the immediate and long-term needs of victims from the September 2017 hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, and help those affected by the Las Vegas shooting.
See photos from the event below…